Alvin Ailey's Role In Modern Dance

explanatory Essay
1073 words
1073 words

Alvin Ailey played a large role in the diversification and cultural storytelling that can be seen in modern dance today. With the founding of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, his dance company stands strong as one of the most respected and prosperous dance companies because of its artistic representation of the beauty that is otherwise known as the African culture. His work absolutely changed the atmosphere of modern dance because he was able to provide the modern dance community with a wider variety of content that had otherwise not been popularized before. Not only did he draw his inspiration from the African culture, but he also amalgamated this with his personal experience growing up as a black child during times of segregation. …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that alvin ailey's american dance theater is one of the most respected and prosperous dance companies because of its artistic representation of african culture.
  • Explains that alvin ailey was born during the great depression to two working-class parents in rogers, texas. his father abandoned the family when he was six months old, leaving him and his mother struggling to find work.
  • Explains that alvin ailey's american dance theater company was widely successful because of its eloquent dance methodology and fine attention to detail in the thematic elements in each of his pieces.
  • Explains that alvin ailey's work was the highest quality of entertainment and storytelling, and it bore a powerful educational and communicative influence. he received many prestigious awards for his work in the promotion of african american culture in dance.

Alvin was born during the Great Depression to two working class parents in Rogers, Texas. His father abandoned the family when Alvin was a mere six months old, leaving him and his mother with the struggle of fending for themselves. The inability for Alvin’s mother to find work led to their move to California in 1942, where Alvin was introduced by a classmate to the most influential person that would be the foundation for his future successful career in modern dance, Lester Horton (DeFrantz 1). Alvin was captivated by Lester’s work, which focuses on building a strong body, and made the executive decision to start his dance training in 1949 when he was eighteen years old. Because Lester Horton’s dance company embraced diversity, and accepted dancers of all ethnicities and backgrounds, Alvin was given the opportunity to do something great with his …show more content…

One of the first concerts ever produced by his company was titled Blues Suite, which was a well-received depiction of poverty in the deep south set to a soundtrack of blues music. This concert was an integral part in defining Alvin Ailey’s choreography technique, which is loosely based on the technique associated in ballet with strong legs and feet, while still maintaining a more evocative, modern-style torso. However, the most critical element that determined the specific style of each piece was solely dependent on the story he wanted to tell. Revelations was a magnificent showcase of storytelling that quickly became Alvin’s signature dance concert. He drew inspiration for this piece from his memories as a child growing up in the south. According to the Dance Heritage Coalition, the concert, which has been viewed by twenty-three million people worldwide, featured the sounds of negro spirituals and gospel music with depictions of common worship rituals including baptism in Wade in the Water, the sacred act of taking communion in I Wanna Be Ready, and prayer in I’ve Been Buked (1). Additionally, Alvin also focused a great deal of his energy into creating a dramatic atmosphere for his dancers to perform in. He had a very strong creative influence in

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